Nurse's Ebola turns scrutiny to US health workers

2014-10-13 18:25
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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Dallas - Health officials are intensifying the monitoring of hospital workers who provided care to the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the US after one of them was infected with the virus despite wearing protective gear.

Tests confirmed the first known case of Ebola transmitted in the nation, raising questions about assurances by health officials in the US that the disease will be contained and any American hospital should be able to treat it.

The head of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr Tom Frieden, said that there had been a breach of protocol that led the worker becoming infected while treating the patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, but officials are not sure what went wrong.

Duncan, who travelled from Liberia to visit family, did not get sick until he arrived in the US on 20 September and he died on Wednesday.

Liberia is one of the three West African countries most affected by the Ebola epidemic, which has killed more than 4 000 people, according to World Health Organisation figures published on Friday. The others are Sierra Leone and Guinea.

President Barack Obama asked the CDC to move as quickly as possible to investigate the incident, the White House said.

Officers knocked on doors, made automated phone calls and passed out fliers to notify people within a four-block radius about the situation, although Dallas authorities assured residents the risk was confined to those who have had close contact with the two Ebola patients.

Texas health officials have been closely monitoring nearly 50 people who had or may have had close contact with Duncan in the days after he started showing symptoms but before he was diagnosed with the disease.

Read more on:    who  |  us  |  ebola  |  health

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